For the forthcoming Reel Splatter Productions movie Dead Format, I’ve been tasked with creating graphics for the film’s props. The movie’s premise involves a video rental store in the 1990s, so I created the logo and assorted props for the fictional video rental store Video Castle. First I started with the store’s logo by creating a simple vector concept of a castle with text, which was inspired by the emblem for the U.S. Army Engineer Corps. The purple and gold color scheme was chosen by me as a reference to medieval colors of gold and regal purple, and it’s also a direct reference to the colors of A-Z Video – a defunct chain of video rental stores in Central Pennsylvania. The phone number in the logo is defunct, but uses a real area code from my hometown of Lancaster, PA.

After creating the logo, I used its design to build the layout for prop VHS tape covers, using copywritten material provided by Reel Splatter director Mike Lombardo. Each VHS layout contains fictional movies that are often inside jokes within the Reel Splatter universe. The fake stamp for the Video Castle address on the bottom right corner was created by me in Photoshop, and was deliberately made to be askew to mimic the effect of a rubber stamp. The Movie Knight mascot was drawn by artist and musician Skot Shaub:

Using the tape cover layout I designed, Mike Lombardo printed out dozens of slips and created movie prop VHS cases to be used in the background of the movie:

Next I used the logo to create a prop T-shirt for employees of the fictional store to wear in the movie. We printed two versions of these shirts for a promotional video for the IndieGogo page for Dead Format, using Brian Keene’s comic book store Vortex Comics (in Columbia, PA) as a setting for the video store:

Next I used the logo and colors for prop video store rental membership cards to be used in the film. These cards were designed by me in Illustrator, and each card was created by Mike Lombardo:

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